Butte, Mont. – June 8, 2020 – Public access to NorthWestern Energy’s property at Hauser Dam will be controlled to primarily daylight hours beginning in November.
The change in public access is to mitigate illegal activities occurring in the area at night, including underage use of alcohol, drug use, public disturbance, vandalism and litter. These activities create a risk to public safety, interfere with recreational uses in the area, damage infrastructure, and in some cases threaten residents in the area.
Beginning Nov. 1, an automated gate located on the Hauser Dam Road just north of the Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks Black Sandy State Park Day Use site will close at 8 p.m. through the end of March. From April through the end of October, the gate will close at 10 p.m. Users will still be able to exit the area after these designated hours. The gate will open at 5 a.m. daily.
“We’ve tracked the timing and use of the area and used that data to set the hours to maximize public access,” said NorthWestern Energy Hydropower License Compliance Manager Andy Welch. “The designated hours will support the majority of recreational use at the site. They limit access at night, when most of the illegal activity has been observed in the area.”
“The Lewis and Clark County Sherriff’s Office supports this decision,” said Lewis and Clark County Sherriff Leo Dutton. “It is disappointing that this action must be taken, but it is necessary for the safety and welfare of law-abiding citizens using the area.”
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